BATH, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Eager shoppers, hunting bargains, packed the big retail stores for Black Friday. However, that doesn’t mean local downtowns were deserted.
Like the big box stores, Main Street retailers also depend on Christmas shopping season. In small downtowns along the coast, Black Friday was reported to be a good one.
“Very busy, very good.” Said Peggy Wadsworth at Once A Tree in Camden.
All those businesses hope the start of holiday shopping season is the start of a very busy month. Store owners say Christmas profits are needed so they can stay open through the long winter months, and get ready for next summer. At Mustard Seed Bookstore in Bath, owner Julia Shea said the local stores typically do well at this time of year.
'Our local community is very supportive of (our) small independent bookstore,' said Shea. 'Actually every store on Front Street it does quite well during holiday season. We’re happy about it.'
In Rockland, the downtown was also busy as Santa arrived on Friday to greet children and help cut the ribbon to open the downtown holiday season. The ribbon cutting was part of the city’s annual Festival of Lights weekend. That event, like next weekend’s Christmas By The Sea in Camden, is both a celebration of the season and a promotion to lure shoppers to downtown businesses.
For retailers nationwide, Saturday is promoted as “Small Business Saturday,” which they hope will prompt even more people to come through the doors. They all hope to encourage shoppers like Emily Hopkins of Bath, who was walking Front Street with her parents.
'Bath has so many great little storefronts,' said Hopkins. 'The town I’m from in Massachusetts, where (my parents) are from, is a town a lot like this with little cute storefronts. I like getting Christmas presents from that kind of stores much more than the big ones.'